Thirst-Quenching Drinks from Rhubarb Concentrate

| 5/16/2017 1:06:00 PM

Tags: rhubarb recipes, homemade cocktails, Vermont, Carrie Williams Howe, The Happy Hive,

rhubarb limeaid

Anyone who grows rhubarb knows the simple joy of seeing it peak through the soil in early spring.  It’s as if it is calling to all of the other plants and vegetables saying: “What are you waiting for?  It’s time to grow!”  If you don’t grow it yourself, it will be one of the first local products available at your farmer’s market or from your neighbor’s garden.

While the traditional strawberry-rhubarb pie is an excellent use for this early garden veggie, there are a plethora of other great options – from alternative desserts like crisps and bars, to ice cream sauce, or savory dishes like pork loin with rhubarb sauce.  But one of the things we love doing with this sour stalk is creating delicious beverages to celebrate the start of gardening season.

We start with a rhubarb concentrate, which is about half-way between a simple syrup and a lemonade (the recipe we like actually includes maple syrup, mint, and lime so technically you could call this a “Rhubarb-lime-maple-mint concentrate”).  The concentrate can be saved in the fridge (or frozen) and used in a variety of recipes to create delicious drinks and cocktails. 

The rhubarbarita is a favorite of mine, but I also enjoy a less sugary rhubarb spritzer, and the more traditional rhubarb limeade is a kid-favorite.  Our recipe for the concentrate is inspired by a recipe for sparkling rhubarb lemonade on Food 52, but we swap in lime for lemon (we find this makes a better mixed drink) and trade most of the processed sugar for local maple syrup which adds a unique taste to the final product.  Instead of adding sparkling water to the whole batch, we save the concentrate.  When the time comes, we make each person the drink that they prefer.

Rhubarb Concentrate in Pot

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